Home arrow Birding arrow What Birds To Expect This Month
What Birds To Expect This Month PDF Print E-mail
Written by Terry Spraque   
Apr 01, 2017 at 03:00 AM


                                                        *  A P R I L *   

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )

If the spring migration gets back on track, we should expect to hear the distinctive calls of the Virginia Rail by the middle of this month. Photo by Ian DickinsonWe always say that winter will continue, until it decides that it is finished. That is certainly true this year as daily flurries, cold temperatures and bitter winds continues right into early April. Some migrants like RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, COMMON GRACKLES, SONG SPARROW, EASTERN MEADOWLARKS, KILLDEERS and AMERICAN WOODCOCK returned as usual last month, as is their custom, regardless of the weather. April is usually the month when the spring migration begins to get into full swing. This is also the month of sparrows with FIELD, VESPER, SAVANNAH and FOX all in full song as the weather becomes warmer (hopefully). Migrating waterfowl, although peaking late last month will still be around in good numbers and representing several species as some continue to pass through on their way to more northern nesting grounds. You may, however, have to search for some of these as they will be widely dispersed, but one area worth visiting is the Glendon Green Boat Launch adjacent to Sandbanks Provincial Park, just off County Road 18 across from Log Cabin Point. Another location which produces waterfowl well into May is the Kaiser Crossroad flooded fields in the Cressy area.  If the weather remains favourable, many of the inhabitants of the cattail marshes around the county will trickle in throughout the month, beginning with an increasing number of those that are already here, including, AMERICAN BITTERNS, GREAT BLUE HERONS, NORTHERN HARRIERS and, in a few days, some returning SWAMP SPARROWS, and ending the month with the later arriving VIRGINIA RAILS, SORAS and MARSH WRENS.
If the weather is exceptionally fine, look forward to the rollicking song of the BOBOLINK  over the meadows, and the rich notes of the BALTIMORE ORIOLE by the last week of this month. While May is often thought of as the month we traditionally begin to search for warblers, there are many species who put in an appearance by mid to late April, depending of course on how the month shapes up weather-wise, including YELLOW-RUMPED, NASHVILLE, PINE, PALM, BLACK-AND-WHITE. If the weather is really good we can also expect to see some early  YELLOWS, BLACK-THROATED GREENS, and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. TREE SWALLOWS and BARN SWALLOWS are a certainty, with NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED, BANK and CLIFF also a good possibility.
Not all warblers arrive during the month of May; a few like the Black-throated Green Warbler can be expected much earlier, in late April, if the weather cooperates . Photo by Jeff HaffnerExpect to see HERMIT THRUSH and BROWN THRASHER this month, and listen for the rusty door hinge notes of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS as they too arrive and migrate through. Although Prince Edward County is not as conducive to shorebirds as nearby Presqu’ile Provincial Park, most species do touch down and feed along the beaches and in other suitable areas around the county during the spring migration. SPOTTED SANDPIPER, of course, is an obvious one to start looking for as well as GREATER YELLOWLEGS, along with WILSON’S SNIPE winnowing over the wetlands and the twittering nuptials of the AMERICAN WOODCOCK in woodland areas, and UPLAND SANDPIPERS in open meadows. By February 28th  this year, woodcocks had already arrived during a spell of mild weather, but they will continue to display on into April.
For the most part, one doesn’t need to travel far for some of these migrants. Your own backyard will often produce some amazing discoveries. If you wish to travel further afield, then Prince Edward Point, Sandbanks Provincial Park and Beaver Meadow Wildlife Management Area are all good places to begin. Any of the numerous wetlands around the county will produce the marsh dwelling birds, but the Big Island Marsh, Sawguin Marsh and Bloomfield Marsh are probably your best bet. Check out the PLACES TO BIRD page for more information on some of the better marshes in the county.  If you’re out and about this month, be sure to e-mail me your sightings.


The NatureStuff website uploads a daily bird report, based on what has been posted on eBird and sightings that come in from around the area by e-mail. While the Bird Report concentrates on the immediate Hastings and Prince Edward County areas, the Bird Report has been reformatted this year to accommodate Northumberland, Lennox and Addington and Frontenac County sightings as well. The Daily Bird Report has become an extremely popular item on the NatureStuff website and always ends the season with WELL over 30,000 hits! To see the daily bird report, CLICK HERE.
You can e-mail me with your sightings right from this LINK.

(Photo credits and descriptions of photos can be seen by "mousing over" each photo. )


Last Updated ( Mar 31, 2017 at 08:58 PM )
© Nature Stuff. All rights reserved.
April 24, 2017 9:15 am